According to the report by PKCG Public Relations, Jahan-e Eqtesad daily conducted an interview with Mohammad Reza Rezaeinejad, the General Manager of Pishgaman Kavir Cooperative Group and also the member of the board at Pars Central Plateau Water Transfer Cooperative Company. Here is how Rezaeinejad dealt with water transfer idea:
Yazd is the first sun-dried clay city in the world and the second historical city in the world with patient people. It has always been a remarkable city throughout the history from which distinguished people have arisen. Yazd has always played an important role in developing the country. Yazd is an industrial province, whose manufacturing and employment statistics have always been high in comparison with its population and facilities. In line with this, the people in this area have dug Qanats (underground water transfer channels) for thousands of years which is manifestation of the holy verse in Quran “We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” Currently, keeping such development in this historic city requires water. Life and survival would undoubtedly be impossible without water. The biggest favor for the city, under the current circumstances would be to transfer water. If Yazd cannot get enough water in a near future, life would end here.
Q: Dear Doctor Rezaeinejad, where did this idea of transferring water from the sea to Yazd come from?
A: A brief look at the province’s environmental situation by considering the fact that underground water reserves are running out, shows that survival of social, industrial, individual and employment aspects in the province would urgently require sustainable water resources. In order to keep the economic, social and human resources in the province, sustainable water resources are needed, for which the safest way is water transfer. Based on statistics from different sources, we currently consume more than 1,100 million cubic meters of water both for agricultural and household sectors. This is while only 60 million cubic meters of water is transferred from Karoon headwaters. Considering sharp declines in waterfalls, we have no other input for water resources. These statistics naturally worries everyone in this region. In numerous meetings we’ve had with industry officials and manufacturers, we came to the conclusion that the best and safest way is to desalinate and transfer water. Considering the government’s huge expenses, we cannot expect government supports. We thought the best way would be to use people’s capital and their participation. In the past, we used to have water share by which people could possess a portion of the water. Since we cannot engage people in decision-making processes, we intend to use cooperative model through which we can have a comprehensive economic model.
Q: Do you think you can use the water transfer background in Yazd and benefit from the Qanat history in this project?
A: One of the main reasons to mention the issue is the historical background in transferring water in dessert areas especially Yazd. When we simply consider the issue, we realize that when thousands of years ago people could transfer the water with those limited equipment, today’s technology will definitely enable us to do that. Despite all the difficulties and limitations, I believe that our ancestors could accomplish such difficult tasks through strong will and perseverance. People in Yazd have always believed in collective wisdom, cooperation, patience, and contentment. Such qualities will make us believe in this water transfer plan.
Q: Based on the previous water transfer plans in Yazd Province by companies such as Kowsar, which transferred water from Isfahan, do you think their experience will be useful in transferring water from Oman Sea?
A: In implementing such project, we welcome assistance and support from all the groups and companies. Water crisis means a battle between survival and annihilation. Naturally, all walks of life in different social, industrial, cultural, and political positions are concerned. Under the current circumstances, we only have an idea which needs everyone’s support. Naturally, companies such as Kowsar with previous experiences can be very helpful. Apart from that, what we care is properly implementing the project, regardless of who does the project. Currently, the main concern is to provide water for the province. Considering the national scale of the project, government managers have also suggested support.
Q: Apparently you are yet again planning to transfer water through a cooperative company with people as its shareholders. Please elaborate on that.
A: Sure. I should stress that the company is beyond the provincial levels and I represent the PKCG in this company as a member of the board. Mr. Ehramian and Yazd Steel Group, Mr. Fadaei and Electrokavir companies, Mr. Sadeghian and Setareh Kavir Carpet group, Mr. Abooei and Iron Industry Complex, together with Mr. Fatemi and Mr. Farazi are other members who volunteered to take part in this huge national project. This new company, just like many cooperative companies in PKCG, is supposed to act in a cooperative way and the shares will be sold to shareholders. So people will both participate in a great social move and also financially benefit from the project. I need to mention that the capital provision methods for this project include member shareholders’ capital, non-member shareholders’ capital, micro money in the form of guaranteed shares, foreign investors, financial supports from Iranians abroad, using crypto currencies with block chain technology, and using government funds through Development Fund. After all, participation in this project is really different from many other projects since apart from financial interests, such move will guarantee the survival of our next generations against which we are all responsible. We can say that one of the reasons we picked cooperative model for this project is the necessity of participation of all the people. It is so important to popularize the culture of attempt to survive in the Central Plateau of Iran through this water transfer project. It is also important to learn and promote the culture of saving water. I hope the previous experiences of the PKCG will help realize the goals set in this project.
Q: The head of Iran Meteorological Organization recently said, in an interview with ISNA, that the idea to transfer water from Oman Sea to the center of the country is just imaginary. How do you respond to the ideas against the feasibility of this project?
A: They can have their personal opinions, but what we know from the experiences in different countries such as Persian Gulf states, is that such ideas are being successfully implemented. Despite the arid climate in those countries, they have successfully transferred water to the desserts and considerable parts of the desserts have been green and habitable. Over the years, they have turned the desserts into habitable areas while our inefficient management has unfortunately reduced the water resources and cause the water crisis. Apart from that, as we mentioned, we have had Qanats in our region which proves the feasibility of this project. People in central arid areas need a sustainable method to provide water. Those who believe this project is a dream are better to present solutions instead of merely criticizing